When you’re asked what you would do if you won the lottery, what do you say? Buy an island? Save the planet? Or give it all away to people whimsically? Internet celebrity and YouTube phenomenon MrBeast chose to do all of the above, although mostly he seems focused on the last one. From donating $10,000 at a time on small Twitch streams to recreating every Squid Game set to give away half a million dollars to one lucky winner, MrBeast has become synonymous with stunt philanthropy. (Incidentally, MrBeast, if you read this I’m happy to share my Venmo with you. DM me.)

But with all these giveaways every armchair accountant quickly starts wondering- how the heck can a 22-year-old content creator afford to do this? Surely after your first few times donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for fun you’re starting to look a little more like the Monopoly man on the poor tax card. 

Trying to get by on the Like and Subscribe.

The answer to “How can MrBeast give away this much money?” is obvious -- he makes more money than he gives away. (Thank you, I’ll take my MBA now.) Although the big stunts on MrBeast’s primary YouTube page cost a lot more than they bring in (it takes a lotta views to get to $3.5 million), that page is just a loss leader for the suite of MrBeast media products. Basically, he uses his main page to drive traffic to things like his secondary YouTube pages (MrBeast Shorts, MrBeast Gaming, Beast Reacts, etc) as well as to sell merch and land contracts with big name brands. When your videos regularly get millions of views and you retain 70% of your new viewers, paying money for more eyeballs sounds like a great plan.

A less frequently asked question is what’s the long-term plan for all of MrBeast’s cash? Asking what's the point of being rich in America seems redundant – it feels like the point of the country is to make some people rich and throw everyone else in the meat grinder. But MrBeast has a bigger vision than simply being another rich 20-something. He’s promised to have $0 in his pocket when he dies and that he’ll spend his time redistributing his wealth. In 2020 he promised to open hundreds of homeless shelters and food banks. And while those haven’t come to fruition just yet, he has opened some restaurants that give out food for free which is pretty close!

MrBeast’s philanthropy has come under fire a few times for being more flashy than effective -- a pretty reasonable accusation considering how insanely flashy it is. His monthly budget for content is around $4 million, and again, MrBeast, sir, if you see this I would love to be included in that budget. But considering 4 years ago he was an unknown content creator, I’d say he’s doing a lot more good for the world than anyone expected. Four years ago he was counting to 100,000 to get views, and now he’s giving out $100,000 on a regular basis.

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